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Everything you need to know about Dragonseeds on House of the Dragon

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The Targaryens might have had a lot of weird customs, like marrying your siblings, but the ancient Westerosi weren’t very far behind either. For many years until King Jahaerys I banned it, they followed a custom where any lord or King could bed a newlywed bride of a subordinate or commonfolk. This tradition was named the ‘First Night.’

Although the Targaryens did not start this custom, they participated in it since they settled in Dragonstone. The commonfolk looked at Targaryens like mystical beings and hence wished for Targaryen Kings and lords to follow the custom with their wives. Children born of this nuptial, technically Targaryen bastards, were labeled “dragonseeds” and showered with riches.

In the time of The Dance of the Dragons, Queen Rhaenyra’s side had more dragons than dragonriders, so her eldest son called on for anyone to try their hand at bonding with a dragon. If successful, the person’s sons would be given noble titles, and their daughters would be married to lords.

They would be offered lands and knighthood. Though many tried, only a few succeeded in their attempts, namely Hugh Hammer, Ulf the White, Nettles, and Addam of Hull. It’s not officially stated if they all were Targaryen bastards, but they were referred to Dragonseeds nonetheless.

Read More: When is House of the Dragon Season 2 coming out? Everything we know about the second season

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Hugh Hammer

hugh hammer dragonseed

Artwork by Enife

Hugh was born on Dragonstone as a bastard to a blacksmith. Although illiterate, he was described as huge and strong enough to steel bars with just his hands. Hugh succeeded in mounting Vermithor, the largest dragon alive at the time after Vhagar. He proved himself to be a worthy dragonrider in the Battle of the Gullet.

But later on, he betrayed the Blacks and defected to the Greens in the First Battle of Tumbleton. The blacks were about to emerge victorious when Hugh Hammer and Ulf the White turned their dragons towards the town and burnt thousands of soldiers and civilians.

Hugh then aspired to take the Iron Throne for himself, saying, “Why be a lord when you can be a king?” His delusion gained more support after hearing a prophecy that said, “When the Hammer shall fall upon the dragon, a new king shall arise, and none shall stand before him.”

Hugh and a few other soldiers believed the prophecy was about him since he was called Hugh Hammer. Before he could get further than making a crown for himself, he was killed in the Second Battle of Tumbleton.

Ulf the White

ulf the white dragonseed death

Artwork by Thomas Denmark

Not much is known about his upbringing except that he was a man-at-arms before the dragon Silverwing accepted him as her rider. After fighting valiantly in the Battle of the Gullet, Prince Daemon Targaryen suggested Ulf be wed to the daughter of a late Lord. Rhaenyra declined to offer Ulf a chance at becoming a Lord and instead granted him and Hugh knighthood.

When Hugh declared, “We are knights now, truly,” Ulf responded saying, “Fie on that, we should be lords.” Later on, Daemon suggested Ulf be granted the seat of Storm’s End, but noting Corlys Velaryon’s strong objection, Rhaenyra also refused this.

Not getting what they want and still feeling like foot soldiers, Hugh and Ulf betrayed the blacks and were henceforth known as the Two Betrayers. Prince Daeron Targaryen of the Greens made Ulf the Lord of Bitterbridge. Still, he was not satisfied and instead demanded to become the lord of Highgarden. Mushroom, an unreliable narrator in the Fire&Blood series, claims that Ulf raped three maidens every night and fed people he did not like to his dragon.

He survived the Second Battle of Tumbleton because he was so drunk, he slept through it all. After hearing of Hugh’s death, Ulf planned to claim the Iron Throne owing to his pale hair which might point to a Valyrian descent. He was poisoned before he could make that happen.

Nettles

nettles dragonseed

Nettles was a brown-skinned girl of small stature. While her father is unknown, Mushroom claims her mother was an escort. She grew up homeless with a habit of thieving and was described by archmaester Gyldayn as “not pretty.” Nettles became Sheepstealer’s first-ever rider and fought bravely in the Battle of the Gullet at just the age of sixteen.

While searching for Aemond Targaryen and Vhagar, the young rider and Prince Daemon used Maidenpool as their base. Nettles almost never left Daemon’s side to the point where people started questioning their relationship.

In the Chronicles of Maidenpool, the maester Norren stated that the dragonriders had the first and last meal of the day together but slept in separate bedrooms. He claimed that Daemon looked after Nettles “as a man might dote upon his daughter” and taught her basic manners and courtesies. Daemon is said to have gifted her expensive things and take baths together in the same tub.

After the incident with the Two Betrayers, Rhaenyra quickly distrusted all the dragonseeds. Adding fuel to the fire, Lady Mysaria, who acted as Rhaenyra’s Master of Whispers, informed her of the rumours surrounding Daemon and Nettles.

Rhaenyra was outraged and sent a letter to the lord of Maidenpool to deliver Nettles’ head to her but not to cause her husband any harm. But, Daemon helped Nettles escape on Sheepstealer and disappeared.

Daemon never returned to Rhaenyra and died after defeating Aemond Targaryen. But since his body was never found, few believe that he found his way back to Nettles. A few years later, Ser Robert Rowan’s army faced Sheepstealer and Nettles in a cave on their way to the Vale. After the fight, the duo was said to have flown deeper into the Mountains of the Moon.

Read More: House of The Dragon’s Matt Smith on how a Daemon Targaryen spinoff would look like

Addam of Hull

addam velaryon addam of hull

Artwork by Enife

Addam and Alyn were the sons of Marilda of Hull, the daughter of a shipwright, who claimed they were the sons of Laenor Velaryon. Although the younger could not succeed in taming a dragon, Addam could ride his alleged father’s dragon, Seasmoke. After this, Corlys Velaryon petitioned for the brothers to be legitimized, and Rhaenyra complied.

Soon Addam became the heir to Driftmark at the age of fifteen. He also fought to the best of his ability in the First Battle of Tumbleton. But after the betrayal, Rhaenyra called for the capture of Addam. Corlys couldn’t idly stand by and warned Addam to escape. The Blacks imprisoned Corlys for this.

Addam wanted to prove that not all bastards were traitors and attacked Tumbleton at night. He took the greens by surprise and was prepared to take on 5 dragons himself. Although 2 were dead by then, Addam did not know of it.

He rallied almost four-thousand men with him to this fight. The young Velaryon died in battle, fighting his battle against the other dragons, including the much bigger Vermithor. Ultimately, the Greens lost this battle thanks to Addam’s sacrifice.

Other Named Dragonseeds

Silver Denys

Artwork generated by Elio M. García, Jr.

Alyn Velaryon was a dragonseed before he was legitimized and became the Lord of the Tides. It is still questionable who fathered the brothers since Laenor was known to prefer men. Some say they were actually fathered by Corlys Velaryon instead. Another dragonseed during this time period was a man named Silver Denys, who lived on Dragonstone.

He tried to mount Sheepstealer, who bit his arm off. While his sons tried to save his life, the wild dragon Cannibal descended on them and devoured them all. Denys claimed that he was the bastard son of King Maegor I Targaryen, who was known to be infertile. But since he donned the classic pale hair and purple eyes, he was still considered a dragonseed.

Why did the dragons accept them?

House of The Dragon

It is thought that the dragonseeds successfully mounted the dragons because they could sense their Valyrian blood. But Nettles was an exception in that case since she had no Valyrian features. Many people without Valyrian blood also tried to ride a dragon tempted by Jacaerys offer. The dragons killed 16 and burnt and injured at least 48 others. So we can safely assume that this handful of successful dragonseeds did have something special about them.

🔥🐉 Embark on a journey through Westeros with our Game of Thrones themed games – 🔡Hodordle | 🐲 Flappy Dragon or you can use our Valyrian Dictionary and Dothraki Dictionary to learn new words. You can also interact with fans of the show on our Discord group🔥🐉

Now whether it was the Targaryen/Valyrian blood or pure luck is for you to decide. Discuss more interesting topics on our discord server.

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